Lebanese politics continues to intrigue. More importantly, however, the US-favoured government isn’t behaving as planned. Democracy must be so disagreeable for Washington. Robert Fisk explains:
They’ve done it again. The Arabs have, once more, followed democracy and voted for the wrong man.
Just as the Palestinians voted for Hamas when they were supposed to vote for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, so the Christian Maronites of Lebanon appear to have voted for a man opposed to the majority government of Fouad Siniora in Beirut. Camille Khoury – with a strong vote from the Armenian Tashnak party – won by 418 votes the seat that belonged to Pierre Gemayel, murdered last November by gunmen supposedly working for the Syrian security services.
While the Maronite vote had increased against Gemayel’s showing in 2005 elections, the result was a stunning blow to the American-backed government – how devastating that phrase “American-backed” has now become in the Middle East – in Lebanon and allowed Hizbollah’s ally, ex-General Michel Aoun to claim that “they cannot beat me”. Mr Aoun is a candidate in presidential elections later this year.